Local businesses are all aboard a program to encourage the community to shop, dine, and play in Cleburne.
City staff recently presented an update to City Council about the shop local. The program allows qualified businesses to participate in the “All Aboard Cleburne” marketing campaign to receive a one-time $5,000 payment, which can aide businesses struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank my colleagues on council and city staff for coming up with a way to be supportive of our local small businesses that were hit very hard by COVID-19,” Mayor Scott Cain said.
Within the program’s first week in late April, the City received 73 applications. The program had funding for 60 applicants and was distributed on a first come, first served basis pending approval. The program reached various business types all throughout Cleburne including personal services, medical, food and beverage, commercial and professional, and fitness and recreation.
As part of the program, businesses must display All Aboard Cleburne advertising material on social media or through physical posters and sandwich boards.
Teresa Graff owner of The Strand Hair Studio, Tanning and Western Boutique applied for the program after hearing about it from Mayor Cain through one of his conference calls with local businesses.
“I think it is an amazing program that will greatly benefit all of us here in Cleburne by encouraging people to spend their money here instead of going elsewhere,” she said. “April is normally my busiest month of the year because of tanning and I missed it as we were closed down.”
Graff said while the grant does not cover all of her losses, it is helpful. She plans to use the funds to replace bulbs in her tanning beds, fix potholes in her parking lot, and other improvements.
The program is part of a larger marketing initiative in partnership with the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce and Visit Cleburne to promote shopping, dining, staying, working, living, and playing in Cleburne.